Brahmaputra River System UPSC [ PDF ] 2024

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Brahmaputra River System UPSC: The Brahmaputra is a transboundary river that flows through Tibet, India, and Bangladesh. The Brahmaputra basin spreads over Bhutan, India, and Bangladesh, with a total area of 580,000 square kilometres. It is the sixth longest river in Asia, the ninth largest river by discharge, and the 15th longest in the world.

Brahmaputra River Origin and Course

The River Brahmaputra originate near the Chema Yongdong glacier near Man’s Rover in Tibet. From its source, the river runs for nearly 1,100 kilometres in an easterly direction between the Greater Himalaya range to the south and the Kailash range to the north.

The river takes a north and northeast turn after passing and cuts a course through a series of great narrow gorges. The river then turns south and southwest and flows through a deep valley across the eastern extremity of the Himalayas.

It enters the northern Arunachal Pradesh state in northeastern India, where it is known as the Dihang or Siang River. Important tributaries of the Brahmaputra include the Subansiri, Kameng, Manas, and Tista rivers.

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Right Bank Tributaries of Brahmaputra River System

  • Subansiri River: A trans-Himalayan river that originates in the Tibetan plateau and enters India via Arunachal Pradesh.
  • Kameng River: Originates from a glacial lake in the Tawang district of Arunachal Pradesh.
  • Manas River: A transboundary river flowing through India, Tibet, and Bhutan.
  • Tista River: Originates from the Pahunri mountains in North Sikkim and forms a boundary between Sikkim and West Bengal.

Left Bank Tributaries of Brahmaputra River System

  • Dibang River: Originates in the upper Dibang valley of Arunachal Pradesh.
  • Dhansiri River: Originates from Lysang peak of Nagaland.
  • Kopili River: Originates from the Saipong reserve forest in the Meghalaya plateau.

Dams and Projects of the Brahmaputra River System

  • Doyang Dam, Nagaland: Located on the Doyang River, it is the largest river in Nagaland.
  • Rangit Dam, Sikkim: Built over the confluence of the Rat Home Chu and Rangit rivers.
  • Subansiri Lower Dam, Arunachal Pradesh: Under construction on the Subansiri River on the Assam-Arunachal Pradesh border.
  • Teesta Dam, Sikkim: A 95-meter high concrete gravity dam on the Teesta River.
  • Kopili Hydroelectric Project, Assam: A 275-megawatt concrete gravity dam on the Kopili River.

FAQ About Brahmaputra River System UPSC

Q1: What countries does the Brahmaputra River System flow through?

Ans. The Brahmaputra River System flows through China, India, and Bangladesh, enriching the landscapes of these nations.

Q2: Is the Brahmaputra only important for its natural beauty?

Ans. No, the Brahmaputra holds immense economic and cultural significance. It supports agriculture, trade, and diverse livelihoods for millions of people.

Q3: Are there any endangered species in the Brahmaputra River System?

Ans. Yes, the river is home to several endangered species, including the Ganges river dolphin and the black softshell turtle.

Q4: What is the biggest threat to the Brahmaputra River System?

Ans. Climate change poses a significant threat, causing erratic weather patterns, glacial melting, and potential long-term impacts on the river’s flow.

Q.5: Brahmaputra Originate From Which Glacier

Ans. Chema Yongdong glacier near Man’s Rover in Tibet.

Q.6. Longest River in Nagaland

Ans. The Doyang

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